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November 24, 2010

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Love that face

November 24, 2010

075, originally uploaded by marandacarvell.

A pic of my little Oliver hamming it up for the camera at a friend’s birthday party.

The 10 Photos Project

October 10, 2010

Today I’m participating in the 10 Photos Project, documenting my day today (10/10/10) with ten hourly photos.  I had a huge sleep in this morning (thank you Jeff!) so I didn’t get started until 11:00 am.  Considering my day usually starts at 6:00 am, this is definitely not going to be a “day in the life” project!  I’ll be updating this post with my photos, as well as posting them to the Flikr group and on Twitter with #10photos.

The photos are all unedited and some may be on my iPhone.  For me, this challenge is not about showcasing my best photography, it’s just a fun and interesting way to blog my day.  You can click through the photos to Flickr to read the a description of the photos.

11:00 am:

12:00 pm:

1:00 pm:

2:00 pm:

3:00 pm:

4:00 pm:

5:00 pm:

6:00 pm:

7:00 pm:

8:00 pm:

Miller’s Farm

October 7, 2010

Yesterday some neighbourhood friends and I took the kids to Miller’s Farm in Manotick (just south of Ottawa) to play, pick pumpkins and soak up some of this gorgeous fall weather. Miller’s Farm may not be as elaborate as some of the other local farms, but it’s charming and the staff are super friendly, as is the farm dog Spencer. I’ve been there many times with my older kids, and was excited to take the wee two and our daycare friends.

Miller’s has a great play area, perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. There are giant hay barrels to climb, wagons to sit in and those classic put-your-head-through-the-hole-and-take-a-picture thingers. The kids played outside for long time, and had great fun running between the pumpkins and hamming it up for the cameras.

Next up, we all piled in the tractor drawn wagon and were pulled out to the field. The driver Frank is quite a character, amusing the kids (and the adults too) with jokes and banter. We rode out to the pumpkin patch, where you can pick your own pumpkins, and Frank picked some different kinds of corn and gave the kids a quick little lesson on types of corn and uses for the corn plant. The kids loved the wagon ride, and at only $1 per child it’s a very economical outing.

We purchased some small pumpkins to take home, as well as some delicious homemade cookies. There are lots of great homemade treats, as well as all the fresh fruit and vegetables they grow on the farm. You can buy their frozen berries year round, and they have tons of fall squash and of course pumpkins at this time of year.

If you’re looking for a fun and affordable way to spend some time in Ottawa, try Miller’s Farm. Be sure to bring your camera, there are lots of great photo ops!

Our painted mini pumpkins

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

October 3, 2010

These cookies are super soft and not too oatmeal-y.  Perfect for this time of year with fresh pumpkin puree.  With whole wheat flour and not too much sugar, they’re a great snack for the kids.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs vanilla
1 cup packed pumpkin puree
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg; blend until combined.  Encorporate maple syrup, vanilla and pumpkin puree.

In  a separate mixing bow, combine dry ingredients except chocolate chips.  Add dry to wet, stirring until just combined.  Gently stir in chocolate chips.

Chill batter until cold, approximately 15-20 minutes.

Drop by tablespoons full onto lined cookie sheets.  Bake at 350F until just set, approximately 12 minutes.  Remove and let stand 5-10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool.

Makes 4 dozen small cookies.

Low Fat Eggplant Parmesan

October 1, 2010

I found some great baby eggplant at Costco on the weekend, they are just the right size for Eggplant Parmesan.  I use this low fat recipe, since once you cover it all in sauce and cheese you don’t really notice the difference.  Very similar to a traditional recipe, however I broiled it instead of frying in oil. Not quite as crispy but still very good.  This is favourite recipe of mine.  Delicious, healthy and economical – what more could a Mom want?!

If you’re using baby eggplant you’ll need about three for this recipe.  Since their skins are more tender you can leave them on if you wish.

Low Fat Eggplant Parmesan

1 eggplant, sliced thinly and peeled
2 eggs, beaten
italian breadcrumbs (varies, about 1.5 cups)
tomato sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese or to taste

Dredge eggplant slices through egg, then coat in breadcrumbs. Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray. Broil 3-6 min per side, until brown.

In a shallow pan pour a thin layer of tomato sauce. Add a single layer of the broiled eggplant slices, top with more tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Warm @ 350 F, about 10 minutes. Broil until cheese is bubbly, about 2 min.

Serve with your favourite pasta and tomato sauce.

Wordless Wednesday: First Day of Cubs

September 29, 2010

Julian is a Cub this year! It's his fourth year in Scouting; he loves it.